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recruitment & employment confederation 'optimistic' after new job figures

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has said that it sees more optimism in the job markets after the latest round of official statistics.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that unemployment in the UK rose by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the final quarter of last year, a fact which REC chief Kevin Green described as "disappointing". However, he said that there were no surprises in the data and he expected the first three months of 2012 to be "difficult".

"However, we can look ahead with more optimism than in previous months. The feedback from recruitment professionals confirms that demand is increasing in some sectors. At the same time, the latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs showed some real glimmers of hope for the jobs market with an upturn in
permanent placements for the first time in four months," added Mr Green.

He noted that these glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel will hopefully be reflected in next month's employment statistics, according to the REC chief.

Mr Green went on to say that job flexibility could be one of the "lasting legacies" of the economic downturn, and a recent Vodafone survey revealed that it could have a bigger effect on job satisfaction than bonuses and pensions.